As per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez. The deal could be completed within 24-48 hours for a fee of over €50 million.
The versatile defender has previously played under current Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag after he joined Ajax from Defensa in 2019. He has made 118 appearances for the Dutch club and also contributed six goals and six assists.
Martinez, 24, can play as a centre-back, left-back, right-back, and even a defensive midfielder.
United struggled massively in defense last season with Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane all failing to impress.
They conceded four goals or more against Liverpool, Brighton & Hove Albion and Watford, who were relegated. Last season, the Red Devils conceded more goals (57) in the Premier League than relegated Burnley (53).
Needless to say, they need major defensive reinforcements this summer. They have already signed left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord and Martinez looks likely to be another addition in the back line.
The Argentine played 36 matches for Ajax in all competitions last season. He ranks third in the list of defenders with the most passes (13.4) into the final third per 90 in Europe’s top seven leagues.
Napoli monitoring Manchester United defender as replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly
As per Correire dello Sport (via Area Napoli), Napoli have identified Manchester United defender Eric Bailly as a potential replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Senegal international is close to moving to Chelsea and the Italian club are in the market for a replacement. Bailly is on their list, which also has names like Fenerbahce’s Kim Min-Jae, Wolfsburg’s Maxence Lacroix and Lazio’s Francesco Acerbi.
Bailly, 28, joined the Red Devils from Villarreal in 2016. However, his injury issues have meant that he hasn’t been able to have a proper run in the team during his stay at Old Trafford.
He has made just 113 appearances so far and contributed one goal and one assist. Even with Manchester United’s struggles in defense last season, the Ivory Coast international could only make seven appearances in all competitions.